Aussie exec Rebekah Horne to head Google Ventures-backed US start-up

Rebekah Horne, digital director of DMG Radio Australia, has been installed as CEO of US start-up TopFloor, which has been backed by Google’s venture capital arm.


Horne, who spent the first eight years of her career in the music industry, has worked for the likes of EMI, Warner Music, Singtel Optus and Fox Interactive Media.


As the former managing director and senior vice president of MySpace International, she was responsible for launching MySpace Australia.


Now the Sydney executive, who is currently at DMG Radio, is to head up TopFloor, two months after it was reported she was moving to the US to run LA start-up GumHouse.


TopFloor describes itself as a “video-driven platform that retailers, brands and celebrities can utilise to sell directly to their social audiences”.


The business was founded by Brian Lee and Mike Jones, the former MySpace CEO who previously worked with Horne.


It has been incubated by Science Media and has received investment from Google Ventures, Polaris Venture Partners, Crosslink Capital and Rustic Canyon Partners.


Horne told Mumbrella: “In terms of Australian partners, TopFloor can provide exposure and access to a large potential audience internationally. We are already in discussion with a couple of Australian brands about working with us. It’s a very exciting opportunity.”


In a blog post on the TopFloor site, Lee states: “Over the past decade, how we use the web has changed dramatically, though little has changed about how we shop online.”


“We’re essentially still shopping the way we were when the first eCommerce store launched. Isn’t it curious that in spite of fundamental changes in web use, online commerce hasn’t evolved?”


“At the same time, the promise of large social audiences has yet to be truly realised as a new commerce channel.”


“Brian Lee and I are frequently asked for advice by celebrities and businesses alike, wondering why they invest time and money into building social audiences that they ultimately can’t leverage for sales.”


“At TopFloor, we’re excited by the opportunity to connect social and commerce. To date, experiments typically haven’t fared well because most have been little more than traditional eCommerce tactics shoehorned into social platforms.”


“Affiliate links and web stores built in Facebook application tabs are just two examples. That’s about to change.”


“We believe we’ve created an effective way to drive sales by leveraging the native attributes of social networks as a core part of the shopping experience. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, but takes each network’s strengths and utilises them as part of the transaction.”


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